Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Intro to Stasiland
This month we are reading Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder. The book explores the psychological legacy of the communist-era East German state security apparatus. The Australian video above is a great way to get started with the topic, introducing you to a couple of unrepentant Stasi officers, visiting Stasi headquarters and taking you on a tour of the Stasi prison, Hohenschönhausen, led by a former inmate. Anna Funder provides insight along the way. To hear another inmate tell his story, including how Shakespeare helped him through his ordeal, see this PBS Newshour slide show. More discussion (and photos) of the work of the prison museum is available from Wired. Stay tuned for more on the book in the next few days.